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Information from El Camino Health Regarding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

El Camino Health and Amwell are partnering to bring you a secure, convenient way to see a doctor in your home, via your home computer or mobile device, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Visit our Virtual Visits page if you would learn more about scheduling a virtual appointment.

 

El Camino Health hospitals and clinics are open throughout Santa Clara County.

Updated as of March 27, 2020

The health and well-being of our patients, visitors and employees are our main priorities, and we take our responsibility to provide high quality, personalized care very seriously.

All El Camino Health hospitals continue to be open and caring for patients, and we are operating with our full capabilities with the necessary supplies to do so. This includes our continued ability to triage, admit and treat patients with infectious diseases. Please know, we regularly treat patients with infectious diseases and have comprehensive protocols and resources to ensure we are able to do so with the highest regard to health and safety.

We are actively monitoring the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), following and adhering to guidance as provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and working closely with Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCDPH) and California Department of Public Health to ensure our preparedness and continued ability to provide care for all patients.

As a result of more restrictive measures being taken throughout the Bay Area related to COVID-19, El Camino Health’s hospitals are implementing a new temporary, no visitor policy effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020. One adult visitor per patient will be allowed in our Mother-Baby areas and with patients at the end of life. All people entering the hospital will be screened, including a health screening, upon entrance. For more information on our visitor restrictions, please visit our visitor information page.

We remain in active contact with CDC, SCCPHD, and California Department of Public Health and will update our measures to continue to ensure the safety of our patients, visitors, and employees if necessary.

COVID-19 FAQs

Q: What is the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
A: There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, cause by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not been previously seen in humans, which was first identified in Wuhan, China, in 2019.

Q: How does the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spread?
A: Current understanding about how the novel coronavirus spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. The virus is spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

Q: How can I protect myself and my family from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
A: There is currently no vaccine to the novel coronavirus and the best way to prevent the illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. However, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of illness, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 40-60 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    - If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touch objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask:
    - CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including the novel coronavirus.
    - Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of the novel coronavirus to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a healthcare facility).

Q: What are the symptoms of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
A: For confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus cases, symptoms have included fever, cough, and shortness of breath according to the CDC. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

Q: When should I seek emergency care if I am having symptoms of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
A: Unless you are experiencing an immediate or life-threatening condition, there is no need to seek emergency care without first contacting your primary healthcare provider. If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. According to the CDC, emergency warning signs include: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse and bluish lips or face.

Q: Can I seek emergency care for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at El Camino Health?
A: Yes. We regularly treat patients with infectious diseases and have comprehensive health and safety protocols. El Camino Health’s Los Gatos and Mountain View hospitals continue to be open and treating patients.

However, unless you are experiencing an immediate or life-threatening condition, there is no need to seek emergency care without first contacting your primary healthcare provider.

You also may consult with a clinician through Virtual Visits if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms. In partnership with Amwell, our patients can see a doctor from the convenience of their home via an app on their mobile devices, laptop or desktop computers.    

Q: Is El Camino Health able to continue to safely deliver babies at its hospitals?
A: Yes. El Camino Health hospitals maintain dedicated maternal health professionals, units and beds for new moms and their babies. These resources, including our operating rooms and neonatal intensive care units, continue to be available and fully operational.

Q: Are people allowed to visit the hospital?
During this time and for those not working at El Camino Health hospitals, we ask that only individuals seeking medical care come to El Camino Health hospitals. Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, our hospitals have implemented a temporary, no visitor policy. One adult visitor per patient will be allowed in our Mother-Baby areas and with patients at the end of life. All people entering the hospital will be screened, including a health screening, upon entrance.

Q: Can a mother with COVID-19 give birth at El Camino Health hospitals safely?
A: Yes. Our Mother-Baby units have isolation capabilities if necessary, and personnel are trained to treat mothers with infectious diseases.

Q: How is El Camino Health sanitizing facilities?
A: El Camino Health facilities stringently follows standard operating procedures related to sanitization. This includes that rooms designated for isolation receive a multi-step cleaning process, including cleaning of all surfaces, curtain changes, and a complete and robotic UV disinfection done after a patient has left the room. In addition, we train staff on a continuous basis in best practices related to infection control protocols and sanitization.

Q: Are El Camino Health hospitals giving away supplies to the community?
A: No. While we have the appropriate resources and supplies in place to treat patients, these materials are intended for our use to continue to treat patients admitted to El Camino Health hospitals.

Q: Are El Camino Health hospitals accepting donations?
A: Yes. The El Camino Health Foundation has established the El Camino Health COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. Donations to this fund will help our community hospitals in Mountain View and Los Gatos support potential unexpected impact or burdensome costs associated with additional staffing, heightened screening, purchase of supplies and equipment, delayed elective procedures, assistance for employees who are facing financial hardship, child care for El Camino Health staff provided by the YMCA and any related needs that emerge in the future due to the impact of COVID-19. If your employer is making matching donations, the impact of your gift can be doubled or tripled.

In addition to financial support, we are accepting in-kind donations of medical and sanitation supplies. While El Camino Health is currently well-supplied, we want to continue ensuring we have the appropriate resources in place to treat patients with the highest regard to health and safety in any scenario. All donated items must be new, unopened and meet our medical use specifications.

Items we are accepting include:

  • Gloves
  • Isolation gowns
  • Hard goggles
  • Disposable eye shields
  • Shoe covers
  • Nurse caps
  • Germicidal disinfecting surface wipes
  • Clorox disinfecting wipes
  • Masks

Before completing any material donations, please call the foundation at 650-940-7154 or email foundation@elcaminohealth.org.

Q: How do you test a patient for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
A: For patients admitted to El Camino Health’s hospitals that are under investigation for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), that patient will be cared for in line with our protocols for dealing with infectious diseases, including treatment in isolated areas in compliance with CDC guidelines. We work with SCCPHD to conduct testing and evaluations when necessary and as efficiently as possible.

Q: Should I come to El Camino Health to get tested for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
A: If you have concerns about potential symptoms related to COVID-19, please contact your primary healthcare provider who can provide guidance on testing and medical care. Unless you are experiencing an immediate or life-threatening condition, there is no need to seek emergency care without first contacting your primary healthcare provider.

You also may consult with a clinician through Virtual Visits if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms. In partnership with Amwell, our patients can see a doctor from the convenience of their home via an app on their mobile devices, laptop or desktop computers.

Q: Am I at risk of contracting coronavirus if I am a patient at the hospital?
A: We regularly treat patients with infectious diseases and have comprehensive protocols and supplies to ensure we are able to do so with the highest regard to health and safety. During this time and for those not working at El Camino Health hospitals, we ask that only individuals seeking medical care or those visiting a patient come to hospital.

For patients admitted to El Camino Health’s hospitals that are under investigation for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), that patient will be cared for in line with our protocols for dealing with infectious diseases, including treatment in isolated areas in compliance with CDC guidelines.

Q: Why have tents been constructed on the El Camino Health hospital campus?
A: We continue to take proactive steps to ensure the safety of our patients, visitors, and employees, and this includes preparing for the potential of a surge of patients. The tents at both campuses will help ensure our ability to continue to care for patients in a safe environment. While they are not currently in use, this preparation is in line with our scenario planning for dealing with infectious diseases, including treatment or recovery in isolated areas in compliance with CDC guidelines.

For more information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), please refer to these resources:

El Camino Health's Statement on COVID-19

Mountain View, CA - February 28, 2020 - Vineeta Hiranandani, Vice President for Marketing and Communications at El Camino Health, released the following statement on February 28, 2020 in response to inquiries about a COVID-19 case in the hospital.

"El Camino Health’s Mountain View hospital has provided care to a patient who has tested positive for COVID-19."

"Due to federal healthcare privacy laws, we are unable to provide specific details regarding any patient in our care."

"We do have standard protocols in place for dealing with infectious diseases. We are working closely with Santa Clara County Public Health Department, California Department of Public Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and adhere to their guidelines and instruction in managing this situation."

"In addition, we follow best practices with regard to personal protective equipment. The health and well-being of our patients, visitors, and employees are our main priorities, and we take our responsibility to provide a safe environment and the best care very seriously."

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